About the sample

Next Steps cohort members were selected to be representative of young people in England at the time the study began in 2004. The sample was selected from a target population of those in Year 9 (or equivalent) in February 2004 who were born between 1 September 1989 and 31 August 1990.

The first survey collected information on 15,770 young people, 74 per cent of the target sample. In addition to the young person themselves, parents or guardians were also interviewed in the first four waves of the survey to ensure as full a picture as possible of the young people’s households.

At the fourth survey, when cohort members were aged 16-17, sample boosts took place for some ethnic minorities to ensure large enough numbers for analysis of these groups.

Summary of Next Steps response rates (Waves 1-7):

LSYPE response rates waves 1-7








Download the Next Steps response rates table in PDF

In 2013, the management of Next Steps  was transferred to the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) at the UCL Institute of Education, University of London. As part of this transition, CLS is attempting to trace and re-contact all cohort members who have ever taken part in Next Steps, except for a small number who opted out of the study.

CLS is currently undertaking the eighth survey (July 2015 - May 2016), when the cohort members are 25 years old.

For further information on the sampling and weighting please download the Next Steps User Guide from the UK Data Service.